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Featured Reviews

Haha Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

03 July,2017
The Haha wine brand began with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from the 2011 vintage with a Marlborough Pinot Noir from 2010. From those first wines, the portfolio has grown to include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, a Merlot and most recently a sparkling wine with a rosé to come. It’s exciting times for general manager Ashton Ireland who has developed the brand as a virtual winery label, into a range that is well-distributed throughout the country and now overseas. One of the most interesting varieties and styles for Haha must be Merlot, with the pre-eminence of Pinot Noir as the most accessible style of red wine. However, the firmer structure and different flavour profile is celebrated at Haha, while the tannin and oak management is geared for approachability. Here, I review the 2016 release.


Haha Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with black hues, a little lighter on the rim. This has a softly full and gently concentrated nose with well-packed aromas of black plums with dark-red berry fruits, nuances of fruit-cake, spices and dark herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate has moderately deep and soft flavours of black plums, spiced fruit-cake and herbs. The flavours form a rounded core supported by light, supple tannin extraction, providing light grip and line. The acidity is integrated, and the wine carries to an elegant, light, herb nuanced finish. The is a gently flavoured Merlot with plum, spice and herb flavours on a palate with light extract and grip. Match with barbecued farem pasta and pizza over the next 2-3 years. 100% Merlot from the Hawke’s Bay hill country, fermented to 13.0% alc., 50% of the wine aged 10 months in French oak. 16.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $15.99
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